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Musician

Earl MacDonald

Born:

Described as “a magical, musical alchemist of hip hybrids” (Hartford Courant) and “a major force in the world of jazz composition” (Dan Bilawsky, AllAboutJazz.com), MacDonald’s inexhaustible commitment to the jazz art form reveals itself in his performing, composing and teaching. All seven of MacDonald’s albums differ in instrumentation — ranging from a quartet comprised of cello, saxophone, piano & percussion to a full 17-piece jazz big band. This variance speaks to MacDonald’s restless artistic spirit, unquenchable inquisitiveness and his desire to continue stretching himself musically

Album

Consecrated

Label: Outside in Music
Released: 2021
Track listing: Be Still My Soul; O God of Love, Grant Us Your Peace; Sweet Hour of Prayer; Holy, Holy, Holy; By Our Love; Be Still Take My Life and Let It Be Consecrated; The Love of God; Be Thou My Vision; In His Holy Temple.

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Article: Album Review

Earl MacDonald: Consecrated

Read "Consecrated" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


The searching spirit that drives the work of composer and pianist Earl MacDonald is both a reflection on musical curiosity and, to a deeper extent, a statement of faith. Bringing both of those identity-shaping aspects to the fore like never before, MacDonald uses Consecrated to work toward a higher purpose. Reshaping and resetting a series of ...

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Song of the Day

Be Still, My Soul

Album:
By
Label: Outside in Music
Released: 2021
Duration: 05:32

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Article: Album Review

Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra: Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait

Read "Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait" reviewed by Jack Bowers


To commemorate Canada's one hundred-fiftieth anniversary in 2017, the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra commissioned eleven of the country's foremost jazz composers to write music “reflecting some aspect of Canada or being Canadian." The resulting Suite 150 was performed for appreciative audiences and recorded for posterity in November 2017 and March 2018 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

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Article: Album Review

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

Read "Open Borders" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Open Borders brings to the fore Canadian-born pianist Earl MacDonald's burnished tentet in a program that consists of eleven sunlit and swinging themes, five of which were composed by the leader. Besides writing, MacDonald did most of the arranging, and he excels in both arenas, as he does on piano (most notably on the standards “Blame ...

Album

Open Borders

Label: Death Defying Records
Released: 2017
Track listing: Dig In Buddy; Sordid Sort Of Fellow; Mirror Mind; Appointment In Ghana; Miles Apart; Hit The Road Jack; Smoke And Mirrors; Catch Of The Day; Blame It On My Youth; Dolphy Dance; East Of The Sun.

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News: Recording

Pianist, Composer, Arranger Earl MacDonald release new recording “Open Borders”

Pianist, Composer, Arranger Earl MacDonald release  new recording “Open Borders”

Pianist Earl MacDonald, Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Connecticut, is set to release his fifth album as a bandleader—Open Borders. For this project, the two-time JUNO-award nominee assembled a lean and mean 10-piece band, capable of capturing the intimate subtleties of a jazz combo, or packing the walloping punch of a full big ...

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Article: Album Review

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

Read "Open Borders" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


Not many piano led ensembles finds the pianist laying as far back in the musical dialogue as Earl MacDonald, who doesn't come anywhere near an extended solo until “Miles Apart" and Percy Mayfield's Ray Charles blow- out “Hit The Road Jack" (tracks five and six respectively). But that's just fine given that MacDonald has charted the ...

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Article: Album Review

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

Read "Open Borders" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Politicians might do well to take a few pointers from pianist-arranger Earl MacDonald. As this fine album attests to, it's far better to build bridges than walls, and far more productive to open borders and dialogue than close hearts, minds, and doors. While MacDonald didn't initially set out to make a political statement ...


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